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Old 09-12-10   #1
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India's Military - Window Shopping Much?


Indian plan to deter Pakistan more myth than reality - Yahoo!

A strategy developed by the Indian military to fight a lightning and limited war with Pakistan without crossing nuclear red lines has stirred concern across the border and in the United States, but the plan is years, if not decades away from battle readiness.

Cold Start involves the deployment of battle groups inside Pakistan within 72 hours of a Mumbai-style attack to carry out a punitive operation without threatening the survival of the Pakistani state and triggering a nuclear confrontation.

It flows from the Indian government's slow-footed response to an attack on parliament in 2001, which was also traced back to Pakistani militant groups, when it took months for the large, lumbering army to deploy on the borders.

By then, the element of surprise was long gone, and Delhi had come under intense international pressure to climb down.

Pakistan says the Indian battle plan is at the heart of its refusal to move forces away from the Indian border to fight militants on the Afghan borderlands, hindering the U.S. war against al Qaeda and the Taliban.

It has drawn concern in the Pentagon too, which worries about any disruption of its long supply line for troops in Afghanistan that runs through Pakistan.
But as the U.S. ambassador to Delhi said in secret cables published by Wikileaks and corroborated by independent military experts, the Indian army's Cold Start doctrine is a mixture of myth and reality.

The military has neither the manoeuvrability or the firepower to rapidly deploy and fight the air and land battle envisaged in the strategy, and it is not even clear whether the civilian authorities have signed off on the plan.

Above all, the idea that you can fight a conventional war without risking a nuclear confrontation between two neighbours with a troubled history for more than 60 years is a vast gamble, say military analysts.

"It has never been and may never be put to use on a battlefield because of substantial and serious resource constraints, but it is a developed operational attack plan announced in 2004 and intended to be taken off the shelf and implemented within a 72-hour period during a crisis," Ambassador Tim Roemer wrote in a February 2010 cable. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-e...documents/2489 71?CMP=twt_gu
Indeed, as Roemer notes, if the Indian government really intended to implement Cold Start and thus risk "rolling the nuclear dice", the Mumbai attacks were an opportunity.

"First, the GOI (government of India) refrained from implementing Cold Start even after an attack as audacious and bloody as the Mumbai attack, which calls into serious question the GOI's willingness to actually adopt the Cold Start option."

Roemer also questioned Pakistan's sincerity in drumming up fears over the Indian military plan, saying it had failed to deter Pakistani mischief inside India even though they had known its existence since 2004.

On Tuesday, a bomb went off in Varanasi, killing a child and wounding several Hindu worshippers, an attack that reinforced concerns that India remained vulnerable, and that ties with Pakistan could quickly unravel if acts of violence were linked to militants based there.

Pakistan has warned that the Indian battleplan further de-stabilised regional security, and that it would take measures to counter the strategy. Retired Pakistani army general Talat Masood said it was a fallacy to think the two countries could fight a limited war without the risk of escalation.

"So the potential of a nuclear conflict as a result of Cold Start doctrine is very much a possibility and surely, it will result in escalation to the conventional level," he said.

OPERATIONAL PLAN

But there is no denying that the Cold Start plan exists in some form and there are proponents in the Indian security establishment who think they can fight a limited war without crossing Pakistan's nuclear threshold.

"I would say that Cold Start is in the experimental state of development, having moved beyond pure speculation but more than a decade or two away from full implementation," said Walter Ladwig, a South Asia security affairs expert at Oxford University who has written a seminal paper on Cold Start.
Ladwig said the army had yet to organise itself into integrated battle groups envisaged under the plan and the tank corps are not fully operational.

Only 20 percent of armoured vehicles had night vision capabilities and the artillery had less than 10 percent of the self-propelled guns that ground forces would require for a rapid thrust across the border.

The army also did not have enough attack helicopters and the transport helicopters that it had could barely lift 15 percent of the troops and armour required for such an operation.

Pakistan was well aware of the shortcomings of the Indian army and for all its protests over the plan, it was not as concerned as made out to be, Ladwig said.
"What it has done is handed Islamabad and Rawalpindi a propaganda coup," Ladwig said.

"Although Cold Start is explicitly a response to Pakistan's support for terrorism, leaders in Islamabad have managed to portray India's pursuit of a limited war capability as evidence of New Delhi's 'hostile intent' and 'hegemonic' designs that will 'destabilize the regional balance'."

Retired Indian army brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal who heads the Centre for Land Warfare Studies in New Delhi says the doctrine was essentially an attempt to address the problem of mobilisation of the 1.1 million-strong army. It is also aimed at taking the battle into Pakistan.

"It is essentially a pro-active deterrence strategy with the clear implication that the Indian armed forces will take the initiative and the next war in the plains will be fought in the adversary's territory," he said.
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Old 09-12-10   #2
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Re: India's Military - Window Shopping Much?

War requires Leadership and Courage.. something our nations's leaders has always been lacking.

Can't say about our spl. forces but our conventional forces have never been setup lauch a blitzkrieg attack. Repetetive wars and continous border skirmish have made them stagnant and slow.

We have strong hold on our side of border but lack the mobility at the battlelines to push ahead across. Lack of night-operation capabilities severly hinders any 'First Strike' plans.

International Pressure will now be heavier than ever given our 'sellout' to garner West's approvals and blessings. We have foregone a lot of our tactical autonomy.

War wouldnt just be for our forces but industries and economy to cope with at the same time. We need preparations on all fronts.
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Old 09-12-10   #3
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Re: India's Military - Window Shopping Much?

^ sad truth
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Old 09-12-10   #4
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Icon7 Re: India's Military - Window Shopping Much?

No cold start.
Full war = permanant solution. Isn't it??
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Old 09-12-10   #5
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Re: India's Military - Window Shopping Much?

cold start != cold war
its just a deployment strategy akin to blitzkrieg.

When Pakis could commit aggression like in the Kargil War, India is well within its right to defend its soil by acting against the so called "non state actors" which Terroristan says it has no control over. They should be held accountable for the menace they spread over here.
First attack may not be the best defense but it sure as hell wouldn't make us look like wimps to the world.

I just hope there is more to "Cold start" than word play and ruse.

Last edited by Free Radical; 09-12-10 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 09-12-10   #6
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Re: India's Military - Window Shopping Much?

Full war = permanant solution. Isn't it??
Millions of deaths on both sides ..

Sad that war is still considered a 'solution'
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Old 09-12-10   #7
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Re: India's Military - Window Shopping Much?

Exactly. Cold war will also eventually end up in a war after some time.
Better to go for a war. Yeah cant avoid deaths.

Originally Posted by dexterboygenius View Post
Millions of deaths on both sides ..

Sad that war is still considered a 'solution'
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Old 09-12-10   #8
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Re: India's Military - Window Shopping Much?

When you have the enemy ready to die and kill, you don't bother about deaths. you go make sure that they are the dead ones if they go down that road.

Time and again, Pakistan has shown its belligerence and its refusal to listen to reason. Its pointless to dream for a peaceful solution and yet not prepare for the worst.
You need not necessarily fight. Just make yourself capable to really scare them enough to choke some sense into them.

People here have been too brainwashed by the pacifist media and have a false sense of security while the neighbors sharpen their knives and sickles.

Last edited by Free Radical; 09-12-10 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 09-12-10   #9
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Re: India's Military - Window Shopping Much?

Cold Start is meant to be a Tactical & Non-Nuclear deterrent againt an act of war.

Keep a small section of your forces on high alert 24x7x365,
Mobilize without warning like 5-6 hrs of an attack .. Strike predefined targets as to cause maximum damage .. like Shock n Awe types .. Capture a small section but critical of enemy's land .. cut off all commucation and transport links to that area.

All this should take 24-48 hours. Hold back. Wait for the big guns to come and setup a battlefront on the enemy's soil
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Old 09-12-10   #10
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Re: India's Military - Window Shopping Much?

yep. And I want to see that happen.
An act like 26/11 or Kargil should naturally justify that to deter the enemy from any misadventure.
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Old 09-12-10   #11
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Re: India's Military - Window Shopping Much?

It is a complete myth that you need night-vision, helicopters and other such equipment for conducting modern maneuver warfare. The backward German Military broke this myth long time back in 1939 with their Blitzkrieg warfare in France. 90% of the German army traveled on foot and most of its heavy load was horse drawn but they still beat the superior French Army.

First of all what you need is leadership, initiative and training which our military does not have. Our militiary still follows the British army principle of strict discipline and command hierarchy in which lower level officers are expected to strictly follow orders given by the superiors. However Modern warfare relies heavily of initiative of mid and lower level officers and our Generals dont want to give these powers to the more junior officers. Also our officers are trained, not to think and act according to the rapidly devloping situation but to obey orders. You can never conduct modern warfare with such command no matter what weapons you have. Our army has a very defensive mentality which has been inherited from the British.

Also helicopters are very vulnerable and a waste of precious resources as proved both in Vietnam and Afghanistan. What we really lack is self propelled artillery for high mobility warfare. Most of the artillery we have is towed and can slow down everything. More multiple rocket launchers are also needed. We need better ground attack aircraft as well.

I will agree with Ladwig when he says that "What it has done is handed Islamabad and Rawalpindi a propaganda coup,". The whole idea has probably come form some armchair general who has spent too much time in American millitiary colleges. Unless there is a radical change in the thinking of our military and its command structure then nothing will change.


"I would say that Cold Start is in the experimental state of development, having moved beyond pure speculation but more than a decade or two away from full implementation," said Walter Ladwig, a South Asia security affairs expert at Oxford University who has written a seminal paper on Cold Start.
Ladwig said the army had yet to organise itself into integrated battle groups envisaged under the plan and the tank corps are not fully operational.

Only 20 percent of armoured vehicles had night vision capabilities and the artillery had less than 10 percent of the self-propelled guns that ground forces would require for a rapid thrust across the border.

The army also did not have enough attack helicopters and the transport helicopters that it had could barely lift 15 percent of the troops and armour required for such an operation.

Pakistan was well aware of the shortcomings of the Indian army and for all its protests over the plan, it was not as concerned as made out to be, Ladwig said.
"What it has done is handed Islamabad and Rawalpindi a propaganda coup," Ladwig said.

"Although Cold Start is explicitly a response to Pakistan's support for terrorism, leaders in Islamabad have managed to portray India's pursuit of a limited war capability as evidence of New Delhi's 'hostile intent' and 'hegemonic' designs that will 'destabilize the regional balance'."

Retired Indian army brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal who heads the Centre for Land Warfare Studies in New Delhi says the doctrine was essentially an attempt to address the problem of mobilisation of the 1.1 million-strong army. It is also aimed at taking the battle into Pakistan.

"It is essentially a pro-active deterrence strategy with the clear implication that the Indian armed forces will take the initiative and the next war in the plains will be fought in the adversary's territory," he said.
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Old 09-12-10   #12
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Re: India's Military - Window Shopping Much?

Umm .. seem to have the wrond idea there bud .. I wasnt around much when the events of '62 took place .. but Im no fan of them either.

Attack Pakistan and its declared a war against our muslim brother .. see how all this get spun around.

I suggested strong leadership .. not tyrannical rule. Leadership meaning that some one the whole country can get behind willingly.
We should'nt need a 9/11 incident to incite our nationalistic senses.

What you see around everyday is politics and in its most pathetic form.
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